Insidious or Inane?

 

Yesterday as I was preparing to fly out of Baltimore airport, I wandered past a coffee shop I hadn’t seen before: Green Beans Coffee Co. Since I imagined I must still be caffeine-deprived after two gigantic seder meals, delicious holiday lunches, and visiting with warm and generous people, I wanted just a simple cup of hot and tasty coffee.

As I approached the kiosk, I noticed that the person in front of me was filling out a form. I assumed she might be completing a job application.

She wasn’t.

When she finished writing on the form that was on a clipboard, I could see the cover sheet:

Valued Guests: Could you kindly fill out the Covid-19 Contact Tracing Sheet, Please.

Seriously? Yes.

Note that it wasn’t really a request or a question: it was a demand.

To be sure I was understanding their “request,” I asked the one person behind the counter whether I could still buy coffee if I didn’t complete the list.

She said no.

By the way, the first column asked for the “guests” name, the second column asked for phone number, and I couldn’t see the third. It could have been asking for an email address. Or perhaps it asked the time of day.

When she said I essentially had to sign it, I said that information is none of your business and walked away.

Just down the concourse was a Cinnabon that sold coffee. (And no, I didn’t buy any of their goodies.) There was no tracing sheet to complete and the coffee was half the price. I bought one and returned to Green Beans to capture a photo of the cover sheet. Afterward, I regretted not telling the other people in line that they could buy coffee at half the price at Cinnabon’s. I didn’t think of saying anything until long after I was home.

*     *     *     *     *

I am so tired of companies and organizations who think they can invade our private lives and there’s nothing wrong with it. After all, it’s for a greater cause. Right?

My foot.

I plan to call the headquarters which are in California later today to see if they can tell me how they plan to use that information to help deal with Covid; if the list appears in all their locations; and if staff are instructed not to serve a customer who won’t sign in. I’m going to guess that they have no clue about how they will use the information. I suspect it’s just virtue signaling since they are headquartered in CA.

The shame of it is that their cause is a good one. They are dedicated to serving members of the service and related organizations. A hint to their “woke” approach appears on their website:

In 2018 we rebranded Green Beans Coffee and re-dedicated ourselves to being a forward-thinking Millennial-relevant food & beverage concessionaire willing to take chances. That forward thinking shows in our striking, modern “Elevated Kiosk” under construction now in SFO’s Terminal 3, and our store in the International Terminal.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

A cup of coffee can be pretty darned expensive, in more ways than one.

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  1. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    What if you just flat-out lie?  And sign someone else’s name?  But never mind – I think your solution is far and away the best one: Advertise the lower cost alternative.

    • #1
  2. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Green Beans means green beans to me.  Maybe you’re supposed to know they are “Green” (new deal) – I’m glad you found the Cinnabon – could things get any more insane? Yes – daily it seems.  I wonder what the rent is there.  They’re going to have to sell a lot of coffee.  When I read “my foot”, I paused, thinking something happened to your foot.  I haven’t heard that expression in decades! :-) 

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Chuck (View Comment):

    What if you just flat-out lie? And sign someone else’s name? But never mind – I think your solution is far and away the best one: Advertise the lower cost alternative.

    I like your solution, Chuck. But I do like mine better. It isn’t exactly like they’re going to use the list anyway!

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    When I read “my foot”, I paused, thinking something happened to your foot.  I haven’t heard that expression in decades! :-)

    Oh thanks a lot, FSC. Remind me how aged I am!! ;-) I don’t think I’ve used the phrase in ages either!

    • #4
  5. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    When I read “my foot”, I paused, thinking something happened to your foot.

    I missed that! (Guess I should have read Mark Alexander’s post first.)

    • #5
  6. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Get woke, go broke.

    • #6
  7. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    Chuck (View Comment):

    What if you just flat-out lie? And sign someone else’s name? But never mind – I think your solution is far and away the best one: Advertise the lower cost alternative.

    If, for some reason, I really wanted their coffee (maybe it’s extra special yummy!!) I would just put down a fake name.  The telephone number I use when I don’t want to put mine down is: any area code-555-1212.  For those of you that may have forgotten, that is long-distance information.  (No, I’m not going to explain what “long distance” is!)

    • #7
  8. DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone Coolidge
    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    A lot of this nonsense is on local health officials who demand that businesses keep records of who enters their premises in order to do contact tracing.

    Some business owners are a bit enthusiastic about it.

    Last year when we started up in-person services, were asked to be very scrupulous about identifying who comes into our church building. We decided that if we really needed to identify contacts should there be an outbreak, we have security cameras that we could check. We did not require any sort of “sign up.” (Some churches did (and some still do) a sort of RSVP system for keeping occupancy levels low, which also could act as “signing in.”)

    • #8
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Of all the virtues not being signaled, the one I miss most is “minding our own damn business.”

    • #9
  10. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Percival (View Comment):

    Of all the virtues not being signaled, the one I miss most is “minding our own damn business.”

    That one is difficult to signal. You just do it.

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    That’s your marketing slogan: “We go out of our way to stay out of yours.”

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    EB (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    What if you just flat-out lie? And sign someone else’s name? But never mind – I think your solution is far and away the best one: Advertise the lower cost alternative.

    If, for some reason, I really wanted their coffee (maybe it’s extra special yummy!!) I would just put down a fake name. The telephone number I use when I don’t want to put mine down is: any area code-555-1212. For those of you that may have forgotten, that is long-distance information. (No, I’m not going to explain what “long distance” is!)

    Even if I’d wanted their coffee (I didn’t care), I wouldn’t spend my money there, @eb, with their carrying on with that kind of nonsense. But that’s me.

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone (View Comment):

    A lot of this nonsense is on local health officials who demand that businesses keep records of who enters their premises in order to do contact tracing.

    Some business owners are a bit enthusiastic about it.

    Last year when we started up in-person services, were asked to be very scrupulous about identifying who comes into our church building. We decided that if we really needed to identify contacts should there be an outbreak, we have security cameras that we could check. We did not require any sort of “sign up.” (Some churches did (and some still do) a sort of RSVP system for keeping occupancy levels low, which also could act as “signing in.”)

    But Drew, those are your members mostly, aren’t they? They aren’t strangers. Just sayin’…

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Percival (View Comment):

    That’s your marketing slogan: “We go out of our way to stay out of yours.”

    Perfect! I love it!

    • #14
  15. DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone Coolidge
    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone (View Comment):

    A lot of this nonsense is on local health officials who demand that businesses keep records of who enters their premises in order to do contact tracing.

    Some business owners are a bit enthusiastic about it.

    Last year when we started up in-person services, were asked to be very scrupulous about identifying who comes into our church building. We decided that if we really needed to identify contacts should there be an outbreak, we have security cameras that we could check. We did not require any sort of “sign up.” (Some churches did (and some still do) a sort of RSVP system for keeping occupancy levels low, which also could act as “signing in.”)

    But Drew, those are your members mostly, aren’t they? They aren’t strangers. Just sayin’…

    Not always, of course, but that’s why we decided we can just rely on the security cameras if we really needed to know who was here on a certain day. And those people we couldn’t identify? Maybe they came with someone we know. Or . . . oops . . . I guess it’ll just be a mystery!

    • #15
  16. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    I have no doubt that their virtue signaling is actually a selling point to quite a few people.  They are made to feel “safe” after all and they are surrendering their personal information so that they can perform contact tracing I’m assuming.  All in the public good of course. Good luck with that.  One of my favorite stores started limiting the number of people in the store early in the pandemic.  You have to wait in line to get in and later they required that if you brought your own grocery bags, you have to pack your groceries outside.  I used to go in only when there was no line but after they added requirement number two, I stopped going altogether and go the store nearby that requires neither lines nor al fresco grocery packing.   

    But there is almost always a line at the first store so many people don’t feel that way.  

    Now with the threatened vaccine passports, I have made a vow that I will not go to any business that requires I supply proof of vaccination.  As long as I have alternatives, I’m fine.  We’ll see what people value by the choices they make.  

    • #16
  17. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Well, this sheds some light:

    In 2018 we rebranded Green Beans Coffee and re-dedicated ourselves to being a forward-thinking Millennial-relevant food & beverage concessionaire willing to take chances. 

    Our Mission is to make a genuine difference in every customer’s day by offering a hand-crafted coffee experience. Wherever we serve, our heart’s in every cup.

    Sounds like my kinda place.  NOTTT!

    But it does remind me to prepare one of my famous green been casseroles with extra onions for dinner.

    • #17
  18. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    I expected the list of causes at a coffee shop to be involved with saving endangered fungi or LGBTQXYZ mime schools.  It was all legit veterans service groups.

    The sign-in appears weird.  An employee doing something for a psych class? Some mid-level moron with a bright idea?  Are they assuming responsibility for contact tracing such that they are liable if they don’t call me if there was a positive buying coffee that day? If they do reach out to tell me that the barista tested positive, is that a corporate HIPAA violation?  Are they liable if I take a picture of the list with my phone and sell it to hackers?

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):
    Now with the threatened vaccine passports, I have made a vow that I will not go to any business that requires I supply proof of vaccination.  As long as I have alternatives, I’m fine.  We’ll see what people value by the choices they make.  

    I agree, GC! Passports are unacceptable. Where does this all end??

    • #19
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Well, this sheds some light:

    In 2018 we rebranded Green Beans Coffee and re-dedicated ourselves to being a forward-thinking Millennial-relevant food & beverage concessionaire willing to take chances.

    Our Mission is to make a genuine difference in every customer’s day by offering a hand-crafted coffee experience. Wherever we serve, our heart’s in every cup.

    Sounds like my kinda place. NOTTT!

    But it does remind me to prepare one of my famous green been casseroles with extra onions for dinner.

    Want company?? ;-)

    • #20
  21. DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone Coolidge
    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):
    Now with the threatened vaccine passports, I have made a vow that I will not go to any business that requires I supply proof of vaccination.  As long as I have alternatives, I’m fine. 

    As long as their are alternatives.

    That the Biden administration is hooking up with major corporations to do this should not be of any comfort. Major corporations will not only be the enforcers these anti-American passports, they have the power to put the alternatives out of business.

    And we’ll be lectured that “it’s a private business, it can do whatever it wants!”

    And we’ll have a harder time opposing it legally for that reason.

    I never thought back in the 90s that I would become staunchly anti-corporation as I am today. I also never thought that the left would become so brazenly supportive of these corporations.

    • #21
  22. DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone Coolidge
    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):
    Now with the threatened vaccine passports, I have made a vow that I will not go to any business that requires I supply proof of vaccination. As long as I have alternatives, I’m fine. We’ll see what people value by the choices they make.

    I agree, GC! Passports are unacceptable. Where does this all end??

    The heads of bureaucrats on pikes outside Washington as a warning to any future politicians that there are some lines that must never be crossed? 

    Just a thought.

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone (View Comment):
    I never thought back in the 90s that I would become staunchly anti-corporation as I am today. I also never thought that the left would become so brazenly supportive of these corporations.

    Never say never, Drew. Never say never.

    • #23
  24. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Susan Quinn: In 2018 we rebranded Green Beans Coffee and re-dedicated ourselves to being a forward-thinking Millennial-relevant food & beverage concessionaire willing to take chances.

    I guess they weren’t willing to take a chance on you, or anyone else for that matter.

     

    • #24
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: In 2018 we rebranded Green Beans Coffee and re-dedicated ourselves to being a forward-thinking Millennial-relevant food & beverage concessionaire willing to take chances.

    I guess they weren’t willing to take a chance on you, or anyone else for that matter.

     

    Yep. I had to leave a voicemail with corporate, and was vague about the purpose of my call, so we’ll see if they call me back.

    • #25
  26. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Of all the virtues not being signaled, the one I miss most is “minding our own damn business.”

    That one is difficult to signal. You just do it.

    JP Stephens on Youtube just put out a Teeshirt reading “Awake but Not Woke” to join the other merchandise  he promotes to keep a roof over his head.

    His videos over the past two weeks have been gloriously astute and funny.

    One of his latest made me wonder why we on the right can’t do more to promote women and their empowerment:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX6EDwqbLxU

    • #26
  27. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Well, this sheds some light:

    In 2018 we rebranded Green Beans Coffee and re-dedicated ourselves to being a forward-thinking Millennial-relevant food & beverage concessionaire willing to take chances.

    Our Mission is to make a genuine difference in every customer’s day by offering a hand-crafted coffee experience. Wherever we serve, our heart’s in every cup.

    Sounds like my kinda place. NOTTT!

    But it does remind me to prepare one of my famous green been casseroles with extra onions for dinner.

    Green bean casserole?  You must be Baptist!

    • #27
  28. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Green Bean being green and incorporating tracking,  Starbucks doesn’t want to be left out.  They have their employees going through social justice training and have agreed to let employees wear BLM clothes, masks etc. and Starbucks is creating their own designs.  I didn’t know that getting a cup of coffee had gotten so complicated.

    https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/starbucks-eric-holder-civil-rights-report-blm-dress-code

     

    • #28
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Green Bean being green and incorporating tracking, Starbucks doesn’t want to be left out. They have their employees going through social justice training and have agreed to let employees wear BLM clothes, masks etc. and Starbucks is creating their own designs. I didn’t know that getting a cup of coffee had gotten so complicated.

    https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/starbucks-eric-holder-civil-rights-report-blm-dress-code

     

    Good grief. Not a Starbucks fan and even less of one now.

    • #29
  30. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Green Bean being green and incorporating tracking, Starbucks doesn’t want to be left out. They have their employees going through social justice training and have agreed to let employees wear BLM clothes, masks etc. and Starbucks is creating their own designs. I didn’t know that getting a cup of coffee had gotten so complicated.

    https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/starbucks-eric-holder-civil-rights-report-blm-dress-code

     

    Good grief. Not a Starbucks fan and even less of one now.

    I’ve even given up their lemon pound cake. And I’ve discovered that a couple of dollops of sweetened heavy whipped cream in my coffee makes a perfectly delicious latte.

    • #30